Germantown Newspapers Inc.

Incorporating the Germantown Chronicle and The Northwest Independent

6661 Germantown Ave • Philadelphia, PA 19119 • 215-438-4000 •

The only paper in Northwest Philadelphia delivered door-to-door to over 35,000 households. 

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Sept. 18 Independent Voice.pdf

Sept. 4, 2014 Independent Voice.pdf August 21 Independent Voice.pdfAug. 8, 2014 Independent Voice.pdf

July 24 Independent Voice.pdf  July 10 Independent Voice.pdf   June 19 Independent Voice.pdf    June 5 Independent Voice.pdf

Next Issue: October 3, 2014


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The 2014-2015 Board of Directors Meetings of the Imani Education Circle

Charter School will be held in 2014: Sep 18, Oct 16, Nov 20, Dec. 18. In

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September 18

A Congressman and a City Without a Conscience

Where is the outrage?   We have verified reporting that the most powerful U.S. congressman in Pennsylvania, Chaka Fattah of the 2nd District was part of a conspiracy to use his office as appropriations chairman to launder money through a nonprofit run by the husband of a former staffer and use the money to fund a failed mayoral campaign and there is virtually no outrage.   Not one major elected official inside or outside the party has shown us a “Casablanca Moment” and at least express some shock that a serving congressman has been named by his own chief of staff in guilty plea as one of the co-conspirators.  Maybe our State Attorney General sees this as another investigation without evidence to convict.  I would not bet on that.

Read more ...

School System Becomes Election Tool – Again

If you follow the news you will be told that the November governor’s race is going to rise and fall on the past funding history of the Philadelphia School System. Do you really think that is the only thing on the mind of the folks in Beaver County? The real story is that the state itself has serious financial problems everywhere and it seems that the local propaganda that Governor Corbett cut state funds to Philadelphia schools is bogus.  What he apparently did is not tell the people that the last governor used money that was supposed to jump start economic development to temporarily fund Philadelphia Schools. That would be the “Stimulus Money” that in this case did not stimulate, but exacerbate an ongoing problem that has not been dealt with honestly in years.

Read more ...

Winners and Losers as Politicians Play with Public Money

The recently disclosed Chaka Fattah scandal brings to light a political tactic of direct thievery from the public treasury that I have been critical of for years. Many thought my claims were imaginary or exaggerated, but we learn that the Congressman’s long term operative and Chief of Staff of an election campaign pled guilty to helping organize the theft of $1 million through a nonprofit run by a local Mt. Airy executive whose wife was a Fattah staffer. On top of that a very high level individual in the Democratic Party and another campaign guru arranged to launder the money twice to try and hide it, but using what appeared as a nonprofit as the conduit is how those with authority move your money to their purposes and most of the time no one has a clue.

Read more ...

The NFL’s Violence Problem is Our Problem

by Victoria A. Brownworth

A stranger accosts you in a hotel elevator. You try to fight him off, but he punches you, knocking you unconscious. The elevator opens and he drags you out onto the floor of the hotel, dropping you face-first on the floor. He kicks you and tells you to get up, but you are still unconscious and don’t move.

A stranger breaks into your apartment while you are taking a bath. He hits you hard, then drags you out of the bathtub by your hair, punching and slapping you while he does so. He throws you onto a bed where he has weapons laid out and tells you he’s going to kill you.

Read more ...

September 5

A Tree Falls in Germantown

One of the by-products of printing a free circulated community newspaper is that you are bound to get the complaints from citizens that for one reason or another are not dealt with through city services.  

Those stories can often be long tales of woe with less than positive endings. 

Recently we had the occasion to follow one to its conclusion, but the story is worth telling as an example of municipal madness to the 10th power.

Read more.

Non-Profits Hide Under the Radar

This article first appeared in 2007 as a commentary in a local newspaper.

Overshadowed by debates on judicial appointments and other partisan bickering, both the Senate and House have opened investigations that may finally expose a massive legal tax loophole for what it has become and not what it purports to be.  Many politicians at all levels have been aware for years that registered non-profits often shelter massive redistributions of grant money and at the same time do little if anything to follow those dollars and verify if they justify tax exempt status and do the public good their proposals promised.

Read more ...

Feds Finger Fattah

Full disclosure:  I ran for the Congressional seat held by Chaka Fattah for the last 20 years in the 2012 election.  On the ballot as an Independent, I ran to try and disclose to the public some of the shortcomings of how this machine candidate had been running the 2nd Congressional District and shortchanging those citizens most in need, but delivering the financial goods to insiders in massive doses.

Jim Foster


Characterized by some as “the safest seat in the U.S. Congress” and when the Democrats were in the majority, the House Appropriations Chair, approving and transferring public money was his forte, with golfing a close second, according to sources.

Read more ...

A Tale of Two Phillys

by Victoria A. Brownworth

The school year is scheduled to start next week in Philadelphia.


The suburban districts and local parochial and private schools are all chugging along. But the Philadelphia School District is, as ever, in flux.

The problem with the schools – massive, ongoing – is one I have been writing about for years. Too many. Philadelphia’s school crisis is rolled up into the problem of Philadelphia’s corruption crisis and Philadelphia’s poverty crisis and neither of those crises get much play in the local news media unless the national media steps in as ABC News did last year, profiling the extreme problems at Strawberry Mansion High School. Those were a combination of poverty, violence and hopelessness. But since those reports by Diane Sawyer, not much has been said outside of this column about Philly’s grinding poverty and the hopelessness, crime and misery it engenders.

Read more ...

August 25

The Independent Voice on the Air at WURD 900 AM

August 24, 2014

Nonprofit Scam Bails Out Friends of Dwight Evans

While there are enough examples of how high level elected politicians have used the funding of nonprofits with public money to fill volumes, this one particular story from the not too distant past should raise not only citizen’s anger, but initiate city, state and federal investigations.

Read more ...

August 21

How Power Politics, Public Money and Poverty Profiteers Are Destroying Cities

“Jack Kitchen, where are you?”

The front page of the Local section of the Sunday Inquirer of August 17, 2014, tells how investigations into one of the largest and most outrageous examples of power politics, insider deals and the reckless distribution of public money may have moved up a notch - - to the FBI.

Read more ...

Another Former Germantown Settlement Property Falls Into Decay

This newspaper has been the recipient of frequent calls regarding the deterioration of former Germantown Settlement properties throughout Germantown and Mt. Airy. Germantown Settlement was a politically controlled 27 corporation monopoly that virtually ran all of Germantown for nearly 25 years only to collapse into bankruptcy a few years ago with what remained of its assets transferred to other operating companies; sometimes under questionable circumstances.

Read more ...

Latino Immigrant Group Asks, “Is The Philadelphia Daily News Anti-Latino?”

After months of attacks by Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, the Executive Director of Latino immigrant rights organization Juntos, Erika Almiron, responded to the hateful rhetoric.

The same day the Daily News printed Mr. Bykofsky’s column entitled “Am I Anti-Latino?” where he names and attacks Juntos, the office was interrupted and shaken by threatening phone calls received from people who felt emboldened by Mr. Bykofsky’s position and chose to let staff in Juntosknow that they and the community as a whole are both disposable and to be disposed of. 

Read more ...

How Politicians Use Non-Profits

Non-profits properly structured and run according to state and federal regulations can provide vital services and can be the incentive for individuals and groups to provide services that the marketplace does not offer.  Of course that was the intent when tax exemptions for those organizations were made available by legislation. 

At the same time, it did not take long for the political charlatans to find them to be an ideal mask for ways of narrowing opportunity and funding those who kept them in office.  The politician and the non-profit have become very good friends.

Read more ...

Non-Profits As Tools for Crony Capitalism

Another way some type non-profits can be handy tools for “persuading” politicians to write laws or direct funding is when the crony capitalists who fund the elected officials want a contract or legislation decided in their favor.

Read more ...

Sandalwood Yoga Brightens 5300 Block of G’town Avenue

by Scott Phillips

Staff Reporter

Tracy McNeil had a challenge on her hands.

She had a dream to bring yoga, a traditionally white, middle class activity, to Germantown.

But standing in her way was a long project of a historic restoration.

Read more ...

August 11


The story of Philadelphia and its place in the structure of these United States is sadly a tragedy in several acts.  From playing the most instrumental role as the center of a national government in unifying the colonial states, to the point of development for much of what became the spark of the industrial revolution, it somehow survived some of the worst challenges of runaway growth, disease, corporate and political power plays to become a destination city for many who wanted permanent employment and decent living conditions all the way from the founding to the end of the 1960s.

Read more ...


Noteworthy Reads

To VisitPhilly: Recognize Germantown as a Neighborhood

If you go to this site..... You will see that Germantown is NOT an option as a neighborhood in Philadelphia. Yet, when you click on Mt. Airy here.... You'll see that most of the attractions they cite are actually in Germantown....Grumblethorpe, Awbury Arboretum, the Johnson House, Maxwell Mansion, Wyck, Cliveden..... That's a travesty!!! Please take a moment and let the visitphilly people (which used to be called the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Cultural something and is THE official tourism site for Philadelphia) know that Germantown needs to be recognized as the steward of all these sites.... Sign our petition. That's why I signed a petition to Will you sign this petition?

Go to Thanks!

Independent Voice radio show

You may want to listen to this one minute preview of the one hour talk show Jim Foster moderates. Radio station WURD 900 AM broadcasts the show on Sunday evening from 7 to 8 p.m. It can be heard on line and through your phone as well; WURD 900 AM. Jim takes calls and interviews guests on his program.

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